What is the PACT Act
The PACT Act provides a list of conditions the VA presumes are caused by exposure to toxic substances. These are widely known as pact act presumptive conditions.
The PACT Act is a law that expanded health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. The law most directly affects Gulf War era, post 9/11 era, and Vietnam era veterans. Other exposures are included in the PACT Act and can be found in detail at the VA website.
What can you claim under the PACT Act?
There is a list of conditions which are considered presumptive under the PACT Act. If a veteran is diagnosed with one of these conditions, it is highly recommended that they file a VA disability claim for it. It is important to note that a veteran can also file for a condition they believe was caused by service even if it is not on this list. It may still be service connected by the VA even though it is not listed amongst the PACT Act presumptive conditions.
PACT ACT presumptive conditions for Gulf War era veterans
· Asthma that was diagnosed during or after service
· Chronic bronchitis
· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
· Chronic rhinitis
· Chronic sinusitis
· Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
· Granulomatous disease
· Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
· Pulmonary fibrosis
· Brain cancer
· Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
· Head cancer of any type
· Kidney cancer
· Lymphatic cancer of any type
· Lymphoma of any type
· Neck cancer
· Pancreatic cancer
· Reproductive cancer of any type
· Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
PACT Act presumptive conditions for Vietnam veterans with agent orange exposure
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
Type 2 diabetes
Ischemic heart disease
Chronic B-cell leukemia
Porphyria cutanea tarda
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
Epithelioid leiomyosarcoma (malignant leiomyoblastoma)
Angiosarcoma (hemangiosarcoma and lymphangiosarcoma)
Proliferating (systemic) angioendotheliomatosis
Malignant glomus tumor
Synovial sarcoma (malignant synovioma)
Malignant giant cell tumor of tendon sheath
Malignant granular cell tumor
Alveolar soft part sarcoma
Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses
Extraskeletal Ewing’s sarcoma
Congenital and infantile fibrosarcoma
Some conditions require that they worsened to 10% within a year of final exposure in order to be service connected, so it is important to review the requirements listed at the VA website regarding PACT Act presumptive conditions.
Has anyone received PACT Act compensation?
Understanding what is required to submit a claim can be tricky, and it is important to do your homework. If all of the information seems overwhelming, there are people out there who can help. You can always visit your local VA or VSO for help. There are also private organizations who are experts in filing VA disability claims.
How long does a VA disability claim take?
There are many things that factor into how long it takes for a VA claim to process. These include your evidence, how many conditions are on your claim, what state you file your claim in, etc.
The VA maintains an average number of days post on their website. The site currently states it takes an average of 103.3 days for a VA disability to process once it is filed. Keep in mind that this is an average, some claims can move more quickly, while others can take much longer.
Can the VA deny a presumptive disability?
Of course, the VA can deny a presumptive disability. Just because a condition is considered presumptive under the PACT Act does not mean that you have it, or that it was actually caused during service.
If a presumptive condition existed prior to your time in service, the VA can and will likely deny service connection. However, in situations such as this, a condition can be filed as “made worse” by service.
In addition, if a veteran files for a condition they do not have a diagnosis for, the VA can and will likely deny it. This is why it is important that you see a doctor for any condition you wish to file a VA disability claim for.
Did the deadline for filing a PACT Act claim pass?
No, there is no deadline to file a PACT Act claim. The VA did post a deadline for eligibility of backdated payment to August 10, 2022. This deadline passed on August 14, 2023. But a veteran can file a claim for a PACT Act presumptive condition at any time.
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This information is made available for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for legal or medical advice. United Veteran Benefits Agency makes no guarantee of the outcome on VA rating decisions.